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Napp's Music (Cover song) 11/10/10

NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
edited November 2010 in Artist's Corner
Hey everyone, I just found some time to record again and I ended up being pretty happy with this cover of the Freelance Whales song Broken Horse

Its definitely not perfect and I'll be re-recording it again soon so I'd love to hear thoughts about it.


Nappuccino on
Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/


  • KillerBeeGeesKillerBeeGees Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Sounds pretty good dude! A few things I might consider whilst embarking upon a second recording:

    It's really quiet! When recording in GarageBand (yep, you're getting advice from an amateur) I almost always have this problem, so I usually bump up the master track once I'm done with everything. Just compare it to a few other songs in your music player and it should be pretty apparent. I also tend to think a lot of songs go too heavy on the vocal volume, but I think yours could use a boost.

    Watch out for slight tempo changes when switching sections. I listened to this first, then found the original to compare - I was a little concerned that your version starts dramatically slower, but ends sooner than theirs. Not sure if you got rid of a section or not, but if not that seems to be a sign of tempo troubles to me. Maybe get a metronome through headphones? I actually prefer to put on a drum loop to play along with, for some reason I find it a lot easier to fit the tempo to that than a metronome.

    Another thing is the strumming patterns that kinda sneak their way in around 1:47 and again at 3:24 or so. There's nothing wrong with the patterns, they just don't really emulate/maintain the vibe of the rest of the song. The strumming around 2:07 was much better for me. Some of the words also get kinda stretched out too long, and then other words have to be sped along to catch up. (Perhaps intentional, but the rest is so close to the original that I assumed not.)

    [Here's an [URL="http://soundcloud.com/killerbeegees/broken-horses-exerpt"]Example[/URL] of a track I might play along with, in addition to a few thoughts on strumming patterns for this song. I think there's an important 'bounciness' to the strumming, with appropriately timed emphasis on higher strings to somewhat imitate the picking is probably second in importance. It's really easier just to listen to it.]

    My theory is that almost all of these problems are coming from basically the same source: singing and playing at the same time. If you're not doing that, disregard the rest of this paragraph. It is extremely difficult to maintain a constant tempo while working with two different rhythms and melodies! If you want a really clean recording, I'd suggest recording the singing separately from everything. I think this would also help with the vocals coming out a little cleaner and less 'muddled' (for lack of a better term). The difference in clarity of the words you are singing versus the original is pretty dramatic.

    The picking is really clean, and sounds great. Perhaps partially because it doesn't coincide with singing (see theory above)?

    Hopefully this was more helpful than patronizing.

    tl;dr - Record vocals separately, play with a metronome, your picking is lovely.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for the awesome post.

    I do actually play and sing at the same time, mostly because I'm trying to get to the point where I can easily do both so when I go and sing live at places, I've got it down pat. That said, I also do it as a crutch of sorts. When I don't sing I have a tendency to lose my spot in the song and start overthinking things which leads to me messing up (and is just an excuse really)

    I probably should record separate tracks especially because it would let me record the vox much much easier. I'll probably try a version like that tonight and see if I can break my bad habits.

    As for the quite-ness... that is a product of my mic. If i boost the volume too much the sound starts breaking and I really just need a good mic. I'll get one in due time but this is just kind of the cross I have to bear so far.

    I really really dislike metronomes though... I like letting the music change a bit in tempo through out because I feel like it lets the songs feel more alive. I know this isn't exactly the most popular view (especially with drummers) but that is how i feel. I should probably plan out where the tempo changes so it doesn't come across as a mistake.

    About the problem with the vocals being muddy/unclear- that is mostly likely because I'm not a singer... I'm trying to get better but for the most part I can barely keep in tune muchless be understandable at the same time lol. But rest assured, I am working on that aspect.

    And don't worry about being patronizing, i don't think you came across that way at all :)

    I'll (hopefully) have another version of that track up tonight and i'd love to get some more thoughts next time you check the thread.

    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
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